Alaska News Nightly: September 3, 2014

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @aprn

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Court’s Says State Needs To Provide Assistance To Yup’ik, Gwich’in Speaking Voters

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A federal district court judge has sided with plaintiffs who say the state is not doing enough to help non-English-speaking voters. A “partial decision” Wednesday in a case against the state division of elections is aimed at protecting  the voting rights of Alaska Natives.

Alaska Natives Wait… And Wait, For Health Law Exemption

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Most Americans are supposed to have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. But up to 50,000 Alaska Natives and American Indians in Alaska will are excused from the requirement. They have to apply for that lifetime exemption though. And the federal government is mishandling many of those applications.

Politifact Rates Begich Ad “Pants on Fire”

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

The fallout continues after U.S. Sen. Mark Begich aired a campaign ad blaming his opponent for a sentencing error that freed a sex offender now charged in a double homicide. The independent website Politifact gave the ad a rating of “Pants on Fire” – its lowest score.

Initiative Revives Air Regulation Debate

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Sides are lining out their positions is the long running battle over who should be in charge of cleaning up Fairbanks air. A twice-passed citizen initiative, which bans the North Star Borough from regulating wood and coal burning stoves and boilers, is up for renewal in next month’s municipal election.

Only Arkansas Has Slower Internet Than Alaska

Sarah Yu, KTOO – Juneau

Alaska’s internet speeds are up 33 percent from last year, but we’re only up one spot ahead of Arkansas for the slowest internet in the nation, according to a pending study. For the first quarter of 2014, Alaska had the slowest internet in the U.S. That’s according to Akamai Technologies, an internet content delivery company based in Massachusetts.

New UAS Dorm Provides Housing for About 100 Freshmen

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

Classes for the fall semester started Tuesday at University of Alaska Southeast. More than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students are currently enrolled at the university’s Juneau campus.About a hundred freshmen have settled into campus life at UAS’s new residence hall. The $14.3 million facility opened at the end of August.

Not My Town! ‘Grizzly Trade’ Ambles Through Places, Personalities of Southeast

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka

It’s got a Vietnam vet with a big heart and anger management problems, a small-town newspaper reporter, and a hippie radio station.

Throw in some meth-fuelled wildlife crime and a few cruise ships and you have the makings of an adventure mystery set in Southeast Alaska.

Dale Brandenburger is a former biologist with the state who has a new novel called Grizzly Trade.